[su_dropcap style=”flat”]I[/su_dropcap]WAS ON A CALL with a couple of colleagues the other day when I got an idea for a blog about “The Fallacy of Multitasking” so I jotted it down, thereby missing the next minute of the call…and proving my point.
In a report on multi-tasking, NPR interviewed Earl Miller, a professor of neuroscience at MIT who said, “Switching from task to task, you think you’re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But you’re actually not.” His research shows that the brain has to fight to resolve the conflict that inevitably arises when you try to focus on one thing while doing another. In this video interview, Dr. Romilla Mushtag talks about how multitasking can actually make critical areas of the brain smaller.
Why in the face of contrary evidence, do otherwise rational people continue to believe that multitasking is possible? Because we have to! Because we’re desperate for a way to get through the too-many-commitments, too-much-information, too-many-devices of the never-ending stampede of our days.
So is there a way to calm our brains, reduce our stress and get the things done that really matter? Try these instead:
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Turn off the text notification on the phone – so you don’t prioritize an interruption over the task you’re trying to focus on
Close the email program when you’re on a call – do you really need to know right this second that you’ve gotten a new email?
The same goes for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. – schedule times for social media and otherwise turn them off
Practice regular meditation – like the neuroscience on the myth of multitasking, there is scientific evidence that even a few minutes of daily meditation will calm our minds and improve our focus
Be realistic – with the amount of new information available every minute of every hour of every day, you will never know even a micro-fraction of it all (Besides, most of it is junk anyway)
Set the right priorities – What are the things that really matter? The things will serve your clients, grow your business, enhance your relationships and improve life.
Stay focused – given the demands of our jobs and our busy lives, saying “no” can often be a more positive response than saying “yes”[/message][su_spacer]
Author Confession: While writing this, I responded to a few emails, signed a document for my realtor and almost ordered a book on-line. Clearly, I’ve got a lot of work to do!